9 Anticodon Sequence: Facts You Should Know!

Anticodon sequence is a combination of 3 nucleotide sequences that is situated in the terminal of the transfer RNA or the tRNA. Let us learn this in detail.

The anticodon sequence is a molecule which is complementary to the codon sequence in the mRNA strand or sequence. If the codon sequence is A U G, then the anticodon sequence should be U A C. So, the codon is complementary to the anticodon or vice versa so that a complete amino acid is produced.

When the right codon combines with the correct and complementary anticodon, that is when an amino acid is produced and further leads to the formation of the polypeptide protein molecule.

Let us now discuss anticodon base sequence, anticodon arm sequence, anticodon loop sequence, anticodon triplet sequence and many other related topics in this article.

Anticodons base sequence

Transfer RNA molecules contain trinucleotide sequences (anticodons). They are complementary to mRNA sequences (codons). Let us explore more about anticodon base sequence.

Below you can find a few anticodon base sequences and their corresponding amino acids.

  • The tRNA sequence (anticodons)-CGA, CGG, CGU, CGC complements to the mRNA codons- GCU, GCC, GCA, GCG thus producing the amino acid called the alanine.
  • The tRNA sequence- GCA, GCG, GCU, GCC, UCU, UCC complements to the mRNA codons- CGU, CGC, CGA, CGG, AGA, AGG thus producing the amino acid molecule called the arginine.
  • The tRNA sequence- AAU, AAC, GAA, GAG, GAU, GAC complements to the mRNA codon- UUA, UUG, CUU, CUC, CUA, CUG thus producing the amino acid molecule called the leucine.
  • The stop anticodon is AUU, AUC, ACU and the STOP codon is UAA, UAG, UGA.

Anticodon arm sequence:

The transfer RNA has 4 arms. Let us see in detail about the anticodon arm below.

The anticodon arm sequence can be of any combination eg: G A C or C C U etc. The anticodon arm consists of a 5-bp stem with a loop containing the anticodon. The structure of tRNA is like a clover leaf shape. The other arms are the acceptor arm, D-loop, T-loop.

Anticodon loop sequence:

The anticodon loop plays a vital role in the translation process. Let us get into its details.

Anticodon loop sequence is -G C U-A C C-G C U-C U A- complementary sequence -C G A-U G G-C G A-G A U-. There are five base pairs in the stem. On mRNA, each amino acid carries a complementary codon (3 nucleotides sequence) that is present in the anticodon loop.

In the anticodon loop, there are unpaired bases that pair up with mRNA codons. A tRNA identifies each codon. Multiple codons can be decoded using anticodon nucleotides, allowing the genetic code to be extended.

Anticodon triplet sequence

Anticodon triplet sequence is present in tRNA. Let us get in to its details.

A triplet sequence is a sequence of three nucleotides that specifies a specific amino acid. U U U- C C U- A G C is an anticodon triplet sequence that codes for 3 amino acids which are Phenylalanine, Proline and Serine.

Anticodon sequence of AUG

There are almost 64 sets of codons and anticodons present in mRNA and tRNA. Let us learn more about the anticodon sequence of AUG.

The anticodon sequence of AUG is UGC. The UGC codes for the amino acid cysteine. The AUG is the start codon and few others include G G U, G G C, G G A, G G G. All these are codes for amino acid Glycine.

Anticodon sequence of amino acids

Anticodon which is primarily present in the tRNA codes for simple peptides called amino acids. Let us learn more about anticodon sequence of amino acids.

Below we can find few anticodon sequences and their corresponding amino acids.

  • U U A, U U G- Leucine
  • U C A- Serine
  • A A G- Lysine
  • G C U, G C C, G C A, G C G- Alanine
  • A G A, A G G- STOP codon.
Amino Acid
Image credits: Wikimedia

Anticodon sequence of methionine

Methionine is one of the most important amino acids among the 20 elements. Let us learn in details about the anticodon sequence of methionine.

The anticodon sequence for methionine is UAC and the codon sequence is AUG, which is also known as the start codon as AUG element initiates the translation process. This AUG is considered a very important element in the whole translation process as only due to its presence the process will work efficiently.

Anticodon sequence of three nucleotides

Anticodons consist of three nucleotides which aid in the synthesis of amino acids. Let us get in to its details.

Below you can find the anticodon sequence of three nucleotides in detail.

  • Phenylalanine  – A A A, A A G
  • Leucine – A A U, A A C, G A A, G A G, G A U, G A C
  • Isoleucine   – U A A, U A G, U A U
  • Methionine – U A C
  • Valine   – C A A, C A G, C A U, C A C
  • Serine   – A G A, A G G, A G U, A G C, U C A, U C G
  • Proline   – G G A, G G G, G G U, G G C
  • Threonine   –  U G A, U G G, U G U, U G C
  • Alanine   – C G A, C G G, C G U, C G C
  • Tyrosine – A U A, A U G
  • Histidine   – G U A, G U G
  • Glutamine   – G U U, G U C
  • Asparagine   –  U U A, U U G
  • Lysine   – U U U,U U C
  • Aspartic acid   – C U A, C U G
  • Glutamine acid   –  C U U, C U C
  • Cysteine  – A C A, A C G
  • Tryptophan   – A G U, A C C
  • Arginine   – G C A, G C G, G C U, G C C, U C U, U C C
  • Glycine   – C C A, C C G, C C U, C C C


To conclude, the article explains in detail about the anticodon and their corresponding codon sequence along with the amino acids it codes.

Sugaprabha Prasath

Hello, I am Sugaprabha Prasath, a Postgraduate in the field of Microbiology. I am an active member of the Indian association of applied microbiology (IAAM). I have research experience in preclinical (Zebrafish), bacterial enzymology, and nanotechnology. I have published 2 research articles in an International journal and a few more are yet to be published, 2 sequences were submitted to NCBI-GENBANK. I am good at clearly explaining the concepts in biology at both basic and advanced levels. My area of specialization is biotechnology, microbiology, enzymology, molecular biology, and pharmacovigilance. Apart from academics, I love gardening and being with plants and animals. My LinkedIn profile- https://www.linkedin.com/in/sugaprabha-prasath-66937b1b3/

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